A Florida A&M University spring 2008 graduate is officially a candidate for mayor.
Dontavious ‘tTay’ Smith, 23, who earned a bachelor’s in political science/public administration, finally received the news he had been waiting for. Smith was informed that he was qualified to run for mayor in his native city of Cocoa, Fla.
“This wasn’t a part of my initial plan. I had planned on printing my books until I came home and saw that the city was in the same condition it had been five years ago,” Smith said. “I’m just glad God has given me this opportunity.”
Each day, Smith said he walks from house to house, business to business, asking voters what they want from their next mayor, allowing them to get to know a little about him. He said this interaction is part of the reason he’s running.
“It’s the hunger that I have for the community that motivates me,” Smith said. “After seeing my neighborhood so behind in its potential worth, I knew I had to do something.”
While a student at FAMU, Smith was involved in several organizations, but he said it was the love from the study body and the constant push from professors and others, like Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, Dr. Charles Beemer and his pastor, Cyrus Flanagan at Family Worship and Praise Center, that inspired him to do great things.
“He was a good student with a sharp, intelligent mind,” Proctor said. “He has the personality and people skills which allow him to communicate with people of all ages and stages, and I think with those ingredients, it would make him a great public servant.”
Aside from running to be the youngest mayor in Florida, Smith has other accomplishments. He is the CEO of his own S-Corp corporation, known as FOCUS Solutions Limited Incorporated, CEO of Folk Tell Publishing group, where his self-motivation novel, “Hood Breed, Self-Rising at 365 Degrees,” will be printed in late October. He also devotes his free time to helping coach the Rockledge Little Leagues Pee Wee football team.
Student government association senator Quintin Haynes, CAO of FOCUS Solutions Limited Solutions, 19, a sophomore political science/public administration student from Rockledge, Fla., said Smith was extraordinary, happy and full of energy.
“He’s an advocate for change, and I’m a firm believer in trial and error,” Haynes said. “I’ll support him in whatever the outcome is, but I believe God has a higher calling for him.”
If elected, Smith said he plans on promoting change in the education system, entrepreneurship and employment rates.
“I want to educate people on how to create their own businesses, and then businesses can give to the schools because education is the number one thing to promote,” Smith said.
He said his story is a reminder to everyone that anything is possible.
“Keep good character at all times, and support everybody’s hustle,” Smith said.
Campaign donations can be made by check or money order to the Dontavious Tay Smith Campaign for Mayor P.O. Box 756 Cocoa, FL 32922.